Indoor furniture belongs indoor. Couches don’t belong on porches or in front yards, as the fabric is not designed to repel moisture or the sun’s rays. They are breeding grounds for filth. And yet, I see them on the daily as I pass the nearby trailer homes. That’s a fact. It’s nasty, especially when the rare and brief rains come. But who knew there was ever a possibility in Austin, Texas of snow falling down from the heavens to blanket these cesspools of cushion? Not I. I’ve lived here nearly half a decade, and the most snow we’ve ever seen was back in 1985, at 3-7 inches, depending on your locale. I know that’s pathetic to you Yankees, but I verily say it unto you.
However, Mother Nature surprised us 48 hours ago with a snowfall, the likes of which no one under 60 years old has ever seen in central Texas. First it was sleet, that sound of clinking against the window, which I heard pre-dawn. Then a few hours later, tiny flakes. We all peered outside to see if it could truly be. Then flurries, then bigger flakes, steady as she goes. Then the green rye grass in our yard began disappearing.
We rarely get an hour solid of RAIN down here, much less snow. Yet hour after hour, it snowed, not letting up until the entire area was blanketed in glorious white powder, as you can see below, on proper outdoor furniture.
The cacti were taken by surprise. They knew not what fell upon them.
Neighbors dug through the backs of their closets to find gloves and winter caps not worn in eons. We made our way outside. It was SO QUIET, like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Just soft snow falling upon snow. MAGICAL! And bit by bit, the children appeared. Snow Day! No school! The hoops and hollers began. Children who had never seen a flake were now able to make snowmen–actual human-sized snowmen, with a bit of effort and collaboration. And for one brief moment, we forgot about politics and the purge of free speech, the division and violence, the pandemic of nearly a year, and we exhaled. We remember what it felt like to be excited, giddy even. Our brains had recall on this feeling of joy.
It’s gone now. The slant of north-facing roofs still hosts slushy white patches, but it’s melting in the sun. The scenes that inspired us to suddenly spout Robert Frost poems have disappeared. But for a moment, it was magic. It was the best Monday in years. And though I may be in my grave before I ever see more than “trace amounts,” I am ever so grateful for the experience.